Aston Martin Sells Minority Stake to Italian Investment Group


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Aston Martin this morning announced that Investindustrial—the group that recently sold motorcycle manufacturer, Ducati, to Audi—has purchased a 37.5-percent share in the brand. Investindustrial’s minority share came at a cost of roughly $241 million, providing Aston with a cash infusion the sports-car maker says will allow it to embark on “its extensive and exciting plans for sustainable long-term growth.”

Sources in Europe tell Car and Driver that such an influx of capital would allow Aston to grow its product line past the current lineup of the Vantage, the DB9, the Rapide, and the Vanquish. The hope is to broaden the brand’s appeal, and the first step in doing that would be to add an SUV to the lineup—the Lagonda concept that debuted at the Geneva auto show nearly four years ago would be ideal. Not only would the Lagonda broaden the brand’s appeal, it also would provide Aston with a significant boost in sales in markets like Russia and China, where sports cars are slow sellers because of their incompatibility with subpar weather and road conditions.

Investindustrial’s commitment of $241 million won’t result in the Lagonda getting the green light straight away. But this raising of funds is the first step toward Aston’s plan for long-term growth, which will see the brand invest more than $800 million in product and technology programs over the next five years.

A number of reports this morning suggest that Mercedes-Benz’s high-performance arm, AMG, somehow will end up involved in this deal. The theory goes that Aston is interested in replacing the aging 5.9-liter V-12 that proliferates throughout the brand’s lineup, and AMG’s twin-turbo 6.0-liter V-12 would make a fine replacement. Aston tells us that AMG doesn’t fit into this deal in any way, but that the English automaker is free to consult with whoever it likes. Perhaps a better theory than a tie-up with AMG is a warming relationship with Mercedes, whose GL-class provided the platform for the Lagonda concept some years ago.


Culled from Car and Driver

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